Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken Recipe


Who doesn’t love a good home cooked meal? Crispy, fresh, and flavorful fried chicken has always been one of my favorites. It is the ultimate comfort food. One restaurant where you are guaranteed to get some delicious, home cooking is Cracker Barrel. Let’s face it, everything on their menu is amazing. But one thing that I’m sure everyone can agree on is the Cracker Barrel fried chicken, which is probably the best item on their menu.

cracker barrel fried chicken

How To Make Cracker Barrel’s Fried Chicken

I absolutely love their Sunday fried chicken. It reminds me of some of the food I would cook with my own family growing up. The best part is that it’s so simple to make, but tastes like the real deal! Here is a copycat recipe where you won’t be able to tell the difference. The flavor is really simple, you don’t really need a lot of seasonings to make it yummy. As long as you cook it properly, it will come out perfect every time.

The secret is the buttermilk. This helps to keep the chicken moist and juicy on the inside, but you still get that delectable crunch on the outside.

Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken Recipe

4 from 38 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Making Cracker Barrel fried chicken is so much fun, especially when you accomplish a copycat recipe that is identical to the restaurant’s offering. The key to making this copycat recipe great is the buttermilk.


  • Oil for frying

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 2 cups 2 of all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons 2 of salt

  • 2 teaspoons 2 of black pepper

  • 1 cup 1 of buttermilk

  • Cup of water

  • Extra pinches of salt and pepper


  • Use a deep fryer or a large pot that can handle a fair amount of oil, roughly 3-4 inches. Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to make sure there is enough oil to completely submerge the piece of chicken.
  • Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a separate container, whisk together buttermilk and water.
  • Optional step; if your pieces of chicken aren’t roughly the same thickness, it’s important to pound them out for even cook times. You can do this by placing the chicken breast in a ziploc bag or between wax paper, and use a meat tenderizer until the pieces are uniform.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Coat the chicken in the flour mixture, and shake off the excess. The place in butter milk mixture, shake the excess, then back once again into the flour mixture.
  • Gently place the coated breasts into the hot frying oil. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all pieces are placed.
  • Cook each side for 7-8 minutes, until golden.
  • Place cooked chicken on a wire wrack to drain extra oil.

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size1 servings

  • Amount Per ServingCalories420
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 22g 34%
    • Saturated Fat 5g 25%
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 155mg 52%
  • Sodium 590mg 25%
  • Potassium 440mg 13%
  • Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
    • Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
    • Sugars 4g
  • Protein 43g 86%

  • Vitamin A 6%
  • Calcium 10%
  • Iron 15%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, you can use something else that’s weighted to pound out the chicken, like a rolling pin. You aren’t making the chicken totally flat, just thinner to match the other pieces.
  • Make sure that the oil is at the right temperature! Trying to fry in cold oil will make the chicken all soggy and sad. Patience is key. Drop the pieces in once the oil reaches 350 degrees. Always have a thermometer handy.
  • Choose an oil with a high smoke point, so it doesn’t burn when frying. Peanut oil and canola oil are the best types, but you can also use lard or Crisco brand shortening!
  • Never EVER place the cooked chicken onto paper towels to soak up excess oil. This is a huge no-no! The more it sits, the soggier it gets. Instead, use a wire rack over a sheet pan. The oil will drip down, and won’t just sit on the chicken. Which of course, no one wants greasy, wet chicken.
  • Making a big batch? Place the already fried chicken in a preheated 250 degree oven to keep warm, a baking sheet will do just fine. That way all the piece will be hot and fresh when you’re ready to serve!
  • One of the most important tricks, that is CRUCIAL to evenly cooked and crispy fried chicken is to not overcrowd the pot or fryer. When you put too many pieces in at once, not all parts cook at the same time, and the chicken will start to steam. Leave a little space in between each piece for maximum crunchiness. It’s worth the wait.
  • Double coat by dipping the chicken back in the buttermilk, then the flour. This will give you a thicker and crispier crust. I really enjoy double coating, because the crispier the better.
  • No buttermilk? No problem. You can make your own with milk and white vinegar or lemon juice. Just add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar or lemon juice for each cup of milk. Let sit for 10 minutes and voila!
  • If you have the time, you can marinate the chicken in the buttermilk mixture over night. The longer it sits, the softer and more tender the chicken becomes. The acid helps to break down the meat to make it less tough.
  • Of course if you prefer chicken thighs to breasts, you can use those too or any cut of chicken. I also like to use this recipe for chicken fried steak or pork. I especially enjoy using cuts of cubed steak or chicken drumsticks. It’s really so versatile.
  • Before coating the chicken, you can salt them to further tenderize. Just sprinkle salt on all sides and let it sit for 30 minutes, then you’re ready to start cooking.
  • A great side dish for the fried chicken is buttermilk biscuits, which are also really easy to make. They complement the chicken so well.


So, if you’re craving that juicy, and crispy fried chicken from Cracker Barrel, you can easily make it yourself at home. This recipe is both simple and delicious especially when you accompany it with side dishes for fried chicken such as green beans, wedges and my favorite, coleslaw. It is just as good as the original, and you won’t even have to leave your own house.

We all know there’s nothing better than homemade, and that is exactly what you get out of Cracker Barrel fried chicken. Who doesn’t enjoy a nice meal at home with family? Personally, everything tastes the best when it comes from my own kitchen.


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